Hide Hyodo Shimizu
Lord Byng Teacher, 1926 to 1942.
Hide Hyodo Shimizu was born in Vancouver in 1908, the oldest of eight brothers and sisters, the daughter of Hideichi and Toshi Hyodo. After one year at the University of B.C, she transferred to Teacher's Training School. University fees had doubled and she felt with younger brothers and sisters it was beyond the financial means of her family for her to continue at university. Hide received her teaching certificate in 1926, and began teaching grade one at Lord Byng School. Shortly thereafter, the Provincial Government made it illegal for any more Japanese Canadians to get teaching certificates. Thus, at 18 years old she was the only Japanese Canadian to hold a teaching certificate. She did not speak Japanese, but her grade one class did, making her first teaching assignment difficult.
'So my first day at school and forty-four beginners for a greenhorn straight from teacher training school.... I greeted them: 'Good morning, boys and girls/' Immediately there was a resounding echo: 'Good morning boys and girls.// Exactly the way I had greeted them!....Evidently the teacher had been teaching them by rote. So I really had to struggle from scratch'.
In 1936 she was the only female member of a delegation of four sent by the Japanese Canadian Citizens League to Ottawa to seak a franchise for Japanese Canadians. 'And they wanted a female... But who ever heard of a teacher leaving school to go off galivanting on a trip in these days it was unheard of!... So I very gingerly approached my principal and he consented. My goodness, I couldn't believe my ears'. However the Canadian Parliament defeated
the motion to allow them to vote.
In 1942 Japanese Canadians were removed from the coast and were originally interned at Hastings Park in Vancouver (where the PNE is to-day). Hide organized classes for the children at Hastings Park, under the auspices of the B.C. Security Commission. 'Now / was still continuing to teach daily at Steveston, so every other day after school I'd rush from Steveston, and in the long interurban tram ride to Hastings Park look over the schedule and make assignments for
the next two days...then I'd have to rush home by curfew time, and get ready for my evacuation, too'.
After she herself was evacuated, she traveled from one from one relocation camp to another in the B.C. interior, planning primary curriculum and training high school students to become teachers. She visited the seven interment camps monthly and supervised the volunteer teachers.
Hide Hyodo never returned to teach in Steveston after the war. She settled in Toronto in 1945. Japanese Canadians were not allowed to return to the coast until 1949. In 1948, Hide married a United Church Minister, Rev. K. Shimizu, a widower with four children.
It was not until 1948 that Japanese Canadians were given the right to vote. In 1982 Hide Hyodo Shimizu received the
Order of Canada. She was recognized for her dedication to the education of Japanese Canadian children during the evacuation. To be a woman from an ethnic minority fighting for the right to vote during those times was doubly courageous.
In 1993 Hide Hyodo Shimizu was honoured by the Status of Women Canada, the Secretary of State and Baton's of Canada in a month long tribute to 32 women who helped to shape the history and evolution of Canada.